Preparing your home for Hurricane Season Before Leaving Naples
Last year we all got a small reminder of what Mother Nature can do when Hurricane Irma passed through. Many went weeks without power and we nearly all suffered some kind of inconvenience or discomfort at one time or another in the following weeks. While you can't control when a storm will make an appearance at your front door, you can take certain steps and precautions before leaving your Florida home to give your property the best chance of making it through the summer while sustaining as little damage as possible.
I will list some of the most common solutions and try my best to explain the logic behind the action and then let you decide which to try. Remember, every home is different and depending on your location and surrounding geography you may find some of these tips very useful and perhaps some to be a little less relevant to your situation. Pick and choose the tips that suit you and then keep doing your homework in case I missed something that can help!
- Hurricane shutters or stormglass
If you have hurricane shutters put them up before you leave! This may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but sometimes people leave them open and then a storm builds quickly and hits our coast unexpectedly. Save the cost of hiring someone to do it from afar and close them up before you leave. Stormproof glass windows are another fantastic option and in the worst case, you can always use plywood to board up the windows, although this is typically something you would not do unless a storm was imminent. A local home watch or property management company can be used to install plywood in an emergency situation.
- Clear the yard
If you have stuff in the backyard that could possibly become a projectile in high winds then try to move it to a more secure location. This may be a shed, a garage, or even in the house. Things like patio furniture, plant pots, hammocks, pool equipment, and children's toys should all be collected and stored in a safe place.
- Trim or remove any damaged trees or plants
Check your front and backyard for any damaged trees or foliage that may break free and potentially cause damage. Anything that looks like it may be a problem should be removed, as the saying goes 'You're better safe than sorry' so don't take any chances. Besides, most of it will grow back over time anyway, that's the beauty of nature!
- Clean gutters and drainage areas to avoid water damage
This may be one of the most overlooked preparation steps on this list. It's easy to forget about those hard to reach spots along the roof but they may prove to be a big headache if they get blocked with debris during a storm and cause water damage to your property.
- Secure doors and garage
Make sure you lock all of the bolts on your doors to give it as much strength as possible. Install a garage door support or build a makeshift support [https://www.todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-protect-a-garage-door-from-storm-damage/] from wood to ensure your garage door can withstand the wind.
- Move valuable objects away from windows and raise them off the ground
Even if you have hurricane shutters or plywood covering your windows, it's still best to err on the side of caution and remove any valuable objects away from windows. You may also want to raise some of your possessions off the ground in case of flooding.
- Pile sandbags around your doors
This isn't just for people living directly on the coast! Flood zones can go miles inland and flooding can occur in the most unimaginable places when the water starts flowing. Take precautions against this by piling sandbags at the entrance to your doors and garage, and just about anywhere else you feel that water might start trying to make entry.
- Stockpile emergency repair supplies
Even if you are lucky enough to find a local contractor to visit and repair your home soon after the storm, you may also find yourself having some bother trying to find the supplies required to get the job done. Materials can be hard to come by in emergencies and so I recommend stockpiling supplies like tools, plywood, tarps, screws, & duct tape to make sure you have everything your workers need ready to go.
- Turn the water supply off
This can help to avoid further damage to your home should a pipe burst during the storm.
- Take important documents with you or store securely in a safe
If you have important documents at your Florida home then either pack them and take them with you when you leave or put them into large ziplock bags and put them in a personal safe or hiding place.
- Check insurance coverage
Last, but by no means least, your insurance coverage. Once you have taken all of the steps you can to ensure your property will fair well during any upcoming storms, take some time to contact the providers of your insurance policy and have a chat about what exactly is covered. You may be surprised to find that things you took for granted as being insured are in fact not covered at all. Finding out this information beforehand and spending a couple of minutes to adjust your policy accordingly can save you hours of hard work and thousands of dollars in damages in the long run.
So there you have it. A comprehensive list that I hope may help you someday down the road. If you need more help or wish to read more information regarding storm preparedness then please take some time to visit the government informational websites at;
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